The holidays are a golden opportunity to catch up with relatives you haven't seen all year and a chance to spend some quality time together.
Unfortunately these get together's often take a turn for the worst when families start to cross some boundaries or give you unsolicited advice as a new parent.
How do you stay respectful and still put a halt on these borderline uncomfortable topics from relatives crossing the line with their parenting advice?
Dodging the Awkwardness
Although it may be easier said than done, sometimes dodging the uncomfortable comments is the best defense. Dodging the comment doesn't mean you can't get your defense across. State your explanation or point of view briefly and change the subject. Luckily during the holidays there's usually a ton of distractions that can be the perfect buffer to get you out of an annoying snowstorm of unwanted advice.
"You're still nursing? That's gonna spoil her."
Our doctor is on board with our nursing plan, can you pass the cake this is absolutely incredible what is in this?! Yay, cake!
Understanding the Root of the Message
More often than not, parents interject with their opinions as an opportunity to talk about their own parenting experiences. Unfortunately when they do that it usually just comes across as snotty advice. Keeping in mind the greater picture might not be about you at all will help you remove yourself from the topic and engage them in conversation about their statement. They might be talking about potty training and even though you have systems in place that are working for you, asking them about the methods they used to potty train will just engage them in conversation and take the attention off your parenting choices.
Aside from it getting irritating to hear floods of advice from people about how you should be parenting your child, none of it matters anyway because you'll ultimately parent how you see fit. When people interject their opinions it diffuses the situation to seem genuinely thankful for their advice and say open ended responses like "I'll have to consider that" or "There's so many ways to tackle potty training." Knowing most people giving you advice mean well. You are a strong parent and know what's best for your child. Yes them to death and go on your merry way knowing you won't actually take any of their crazy suggestions.
You don't need to take any crap.
Remember that you don't owe anyone an explanation for the way you parent. If you make decisions in the best interest of your family, advice can be welcome but stand your ground if boundaries become crossed and leave you feeling uncomfortable or pressured.
Even families might lose touch of what is appropriate to recommend or infer about your parenting methods, but keeping yourself standing strong and empowered will send the appropriate message. Standing your ground on a parenting style you are implementing or feel passionately about doesn't have to end in confrontation or argument.